Common Mistakes New Parents Make With Their Newborns In The First Year

Updated: 11/21/2019

Becoming a parent is a memorable experience for anyone; however, this time is also not easy when we have to figure out which things are right to do and which things must be avoided. The first year may be the toughest for any parent. Do not worry! All new parents have undergone this feeling at first, but learning will make everything better. In this article, we would like to introduce to you a number of common mistakes new parents make with their newborns in the first year or beyond. Hopefully, that will help you to avoid them.

26 Common Mistakes New Parents Make With Their Newborns In The First Year

1. Car Seat Safety 

Some parents who welcome their first child in their home have not practiced various baby care chores. For example, they do not know how to change a baby diaper. It is true for taking car seats.

Parents are required to take their baby home in a suitable car seat, and it is important for you to ensure you install it securely before delivering.

Knowing how to install a car seat correctly and safely can be challenging for many parents. Although some fire stations can help you, you can find an experienced technician.

But learning how to install car seats properly before purchasing the seat can help you avoid any troubles later.

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A study conducted in nearly 300 families in 2016 showed 91% of parents made these serious mistakes and did not know how to install their car seats or put their newborns into these seats[1]. 86% of those mistakes were in the newborn positioning in the seat. These mistakes will make babies more likely to get an injury in an accident.

Never make the infant’s head flop forward because it could prevent your children from breathing normally. Furthermore, you should install the seat at the correct angle to keep your baby’s feet up and body reclined, so your baby can turn his head to the side for normal breathing.

2. Feeding Improperly 

One of the mistakes new parents make with their newborns is to let the baby rest and sleep too long between feedings. They may say that it is due to exhaustion. But in fact, that definitely does more harm than good.

In the first few weeks, babies need feeding every two to three hours even though they do not demand. After they reach the birth weight, you can feed them three to five hours.

Feeding on demand will ensure the maximum growth and development in babies. When your babies are at 2 or 3 months of age, it is better to make a baby sleep through the night. But keep in mind that some babies wake up more frequently at night. Be sure you do not feed your baby every time they wake up. Image if you wake up and then eat a chocolate cake, you will start to wake up and expect that. The same with your babies.

3. Do Everything By The Book 

New parents often search for the book to find useful tips and guides on how to take care of their babies. Many guides in books are good, but they should not be considered as your parenting bible.

Some parents read the tips on these books and try to do everything right crazily. Parenting does not have only one way. Since every child is not the same; it can be suitable for this baby, but might not work for another.

Therefore, never stick to the ways of raising a child some books tell you. Instead, it is recommended paying attention to a nurturing, loving, and safe environment for your babies.

4. Not Sleeping When Your Baby Sleeps 

The first-time parents hardly sleep, especially when their baby is in the first few months. Then baby snaps, they often do something else like folding laundry. This is definitely one of the common mistakes new parents make with their newborns.

The useful advice for first-time parents is to sleep whenever you can. Sleeping is the time you restore your energy. A couple of hours of sleeping will make everyone more productive and happier.

5. Burp Baby Improperly 

One of the dangerous mistakes new parents make with their newborns is that they do not know how to burp the baby properly. This mistake is understandable because most new parents are nervous about the first time they handle their newborn and burp him. They often put their baby down immediately after feeding. That mistake will make the baby spit up, gag, wake up in an hour, or scream in pain.

There are several burping ways you can try to find the best for your baby. For example, the most way is over-the-shoulder burp. In this technique, you place your child on your chest with his chin on your shoulder, tummy against your chest, and his face turning to one side. Rub or pat your baby’s back gently until he burps. It will take about 10 minutes until your baby will be happy.

Another common way for burping is to let your baby face lie down your lap and then rub and pat. Baby exercises are also useful to burp your baby. First, place your baby down on a blanket on the floor and then bicycle their legs. Or you can move their legs around and up in a circular motion.

6. Spend Too Much Money And Time On Baby Clothes 

First-time parents often expect for their baby’s wardrobe when they buy a lot of beautiful dresses and clothes to make their baby the best dressed in the neighborhood.

Unfortunately, there is no need to spend too much money on baby clothes. Babies in the first months mostly stay around the house and hardly go outside. Therefore, the best clothes for them is pajamas and onesies. Furthermore, another reason why you should not buy a lot of clothes is that your babies outgrow fast.

7. Not Leave The Home 

First-time parents often think that the outside environment is not good for their children, and the baby is likely to catch something. Therefore, they often lock themselves and their baby inside the house for the first few months of baby’s life. That is a big mistake.

A newborn’s immune system is not as strong as an adult’s, but it does not mean they have to avoid the outdoors completely. A little sunshine and fresh air are good for you and your baby, and a leisurely stroll in the neighborhood does not always make your baby get the flu. Therefore, it is advisable for parents to take the baby outside on a regular basis.

8. Not Get On A Schedule

mistakes new parents make - not get on a schedule

Getting on a regular schedule makes everything easier for a parent. A baby’s internal clock is not complete yet, so they may get the nights, and days mixed up. Ticking to a regular routine will help to avoid that.

Following a regular schedule, you will feel easier to plan an outing, nap, and feeding times. You can make your baby get on a routine by feeding him, letting him play, and putting him in a bed at the same time daily. Do it every day; your baby will soon fall into your routine.

9. Compare Your Baby To Other Babies 

It is important to avoid comparing your baby’s development to other babies’ development, as that only makes you stress out, leads to undue worry, and it is unfair to your little child.

Keep in mind that every child’s growth is different. Some babies can walk at nine months old while others start to walk after he turns one year old. It is normal; so, do not worry. As long as your doctor does not diagnose your child with a certain health or growth problem, everything is fine.

10. Neglect Your Marriage 

For first-time parents, a newborn baby is their moon, sun, and stars. So, the new baby always attracts all your energy and focus. However, it is one of the common mistakes new parents make.

The marriage also needs nurturing if you do not want to make it end in tragedy. So spend your time with your loved one for a quiet candlelit dinner when your baby is sleeping. A loving and warm environment is also good and important for your baby’s well-being and growth. Therefore, make sure you do not ignore that.

11. Not Accept Help 

It is not uncommon when new parents always refuse the offers of help from other people because they do not trust anyone for taking care of their baby. It is one of the big mistakes new parents make, and that will result in overwhelming and exhausting consequences.

Every dad and mom needs to relax every now and then, especially when they put their energy on their baby. Therefore, you should enjoy some time down, or you can have the risk of becoming burnt out. A good parent does not have to become a superhero who works all days and nights. Sometimes, you need the help of your loved ones. Your baby definitely appreciates that.

12. Be Overly Overprotective 

New parents are always worrying about every little thing, and even every turn of the baby will be linked to danger. This is understandable; however, overprotectiveness has more harm than good.

The possible explanation is that children learn everything their parents do. So, overprotectiveness and worry can affect their growth and well-being. The result is that your baby will grow up fears of taking risks and opportunities.

But in fact, taking risks and making mistakes is how your children learn to deal with all the challenges and difficulties of life. Therefore, keeping them in a safety circle will restrain the baby’s growth and development, as they cannot learn major life lessons.

So, the useful advice for many new parents is that you should keep an eye for any real dangers but still encourage your child to play with other kids.

13. Keep Baby Constrained All Day 

One of the common mistakes new parents make in the first year, especially during their growing up is to keep the baby constrained in a bouncy seat, car seat, or other sleepers.

There are many parents who take their babies out at the park, at a restaurant, talking to friends while carrying their babies in the car seat.

Keeping baby constrained all day without interacting with them will lead to language delays and other issues caused by a lack of stimulation.

So, when your baby is not in the car traveling and is not sleeping, you should let him be on his tummy or hold him comfortably. During the growing up, babies need to stretch, roll, move, and push their head up.

14. Overacting OR Underacting To A Fever 

Fevers in babies can be serious. When your baby under three months old has a fever of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher, you should take him to a medical professional or pediatrician immediately. However, if babies and children older than that are getting a fever, it is important for you to take a close look at your baby or child to find out what is happening with them. The reason is that not all fevers in babies and children older than three months are serious and treated immediately.

The best advice for new parents when they see the increased number on the thermometer is to look at and observe your baby. Ask themselves questions like: Are they thirsty for fluids? Are they playing happily? Are they sleeping peacefully? Are they suffering from any trouble breathing?

15. Set The Proper Temperature For Baby At Home 

Many parents are concerned about how cool and warm their baby should be. Asking a number of parents for the proper temperature setting for baby in the home, most people say that it depends on the insulation of the home and the time of year, but a thermostat setting of about 68° F – 72° F (20° C – 22° C) will make the baby comfortable.

However, the mistake many parents make is keeping their baby too warm. In fact, the baby’s skin should be kept warm, not too cold or hot. When the baby is cold, his or her body will burn a lot of calories to get warm.

According to child experts, blood circulation in newborns is not good; so, having cold feet and hands is normal.

16. Take Newborn Babies Into Crowded Places 

Some people want to introduce their babies to a large family gathering or many people. That is a mistake, especially when babies are taken out during flu and cold season.

This is because babies under two months need the protection from exposure to people and germs that would be put your baby at risk of the sickness. The baby’s immune system is not strong enough to fight against harmful environmental elements.

17. Let Other People Kiss Your Baby 

Babies are cute and adorable. It is understandable why no one can resist giving the baby a kiss or a good hug. That could be acceptable if your baby is older than three or four months. However, with their newborns younger than that with weak immune systems, kissing is dangerous.

A kiss can lead to numerous illnesses. For instance, your baby can catch the pesky microorganisms from other people, which causes illness.

18. Use A Soft Cushion Or A Pillow 

All parents want their babies to sleep as much comfortable as possible. But instead of being tempted by soft, puffy cushions, or pillows, you should put your baby on a firm mattress. The reason is that these comfy-looking things will lead to a suffocation hazard. When babies lie on their belly, they can be put at high risk because the little ones are not strong enough to control their neck and head. The soft cushion will somehow block the baby’s airway; he won’t be able to breathe.

For those reasons, stuffed toys and blankets are also things to avoid in the baby’s crib.

19. Smoke Around Babies

mistakes new parents make - smoke around babies

Sometimes dad or mom wants to smoke. It is your decision, but it is important for you to avoid smoking around babies because of many hard and serious consequences on newborn babies.

Cigarette smoke is loaded with toxic chemicals. Therefore, because the small body and weak immune system cannot fight against this element, these toxins can easily get into the baby’s bloodstream.

Inhaling the smoke will put your baby at risk of certain illnesses and can lead to the sudden infant death syndrome.

20. Do Not Change A Diaper When Needed

Hard-working parents often wait too long to change their baby’s diaper. Some parents may say that they find it difficult to wake up in the middle of the night and change their baby’s diaper.

This is the common mistake of hard-working and new parents. If you do not change the diaper often, it can cause painful diaper rashes and urinary tract infections. It is recommended to change the baby’s diaper every two or three hours. In the middle of the night, you should ask him for a change to avoid disturbing his sleep.

Another reason why some parents do not change the diaper often is that they want to conserve nappies. Diapers in today’s market can be quite expensive, so the costs of buying diapers may be challenging to disadvantaged and unaffordable families. If you are in the same situation, it is recommended looking for some non-profit organizations that can give you diaper donations coming from concerned citizens.

21. Shake The Baby 

The well-known leading cause of sudden infant death is shaking the baby, which is often called Shaken Baby Syndrome. Most parents know that shaking the baby is definitely a bad idea, but unfortunately, this problem still happens, especially when a parent feels frustrated at the baby’s crying. Shaking the baby violently can damage the baby’s brain.

22. Swaddling 

Swaddling your little baby can make him comfortable and warm. That will be fine if you are around your baby. But it is a bad idea and one of the serious mistakes new parents make when you swaddle him up during the night.

Improper swaddling will put a baby at a high risk of a suffocation hazard, as your newborns may get downed in the swaddling.

Furthermore, your baby is constrained from movement in the middle of the night, and he cannot move his limbs because of all the swaddling. This can lead to joint problems later. Moreover, you may overheat him.

Of course, you should keep your baby warm, but it is better to do other safer and less risky ways.

23. Wiping Back To Front 

This is a common mistake new parents make with their baby girls when they have to clean your loved one’ bum during the diaper change. However, it is important for new parents to keep in mind that always wipe from front to back.

This is because the area around the baby’s anus can house microorganisms; therefore, wiping from back to the front could lead to a urinary tract infection. Because girl’s urinary tracts are shorter than a boy’s, girls are more susceptible to this problem.

24. Keep Baby’s Head In One Position 

The baby at the age of six months or under cannot control neck and head completely; therefore, he cannot move his head and neck in the middle of the night. So, keeping the baby’s head in a position all night or long time can lead to a flat spot.

To prevent this problem, you can use the simple solution below. Whenever you change the baby’s diaper or feed your baby, you should switch his head to a different position. During the day, it is recommended carrying and cuddling him a lot.

25. Do Not Brush Their Teeth 

Many parents may think that the baby does not chew anything; therefore, there is no need for oral care. It is not true. Even when your baby drink breast milk, his mouth still has the residue which may harbor microorganisms, causing tooth problems and gum problems.

Therefore, it is important for you to use a moist piece of cloth to clean your baby’s gums gently and regularly.

26. Punish Them 

To punish, many parents hit their baby harshly. But the baby does not know why he or she is being hurt. As a result, you send a negative feeling to your baby, who does not understand the word “no.”

For babies, it is best to provide them the positive parenting for your baby’s well-being, development, and psychological health. Although raising a baby is difficult and challenging, you can easily reach out for help from other people around you and professional experts. Before ending this article of “Common Mistakes New Parents Make With Their Newborns In The First Year,” we hope that you get useful information and advice. Any questions can be left in the common section in We will answer them as soon as we can.

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